Latest in Science

Image credit:

Computers can tell when you've been drunk tweeting

The University of Rochester developed an algorithm to determine where you're drinking and tweeting from.
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

darthmauldds/Flickr

In case the rambling string of misspelled words and incoherent thoughts weren't dead giveaways, scientists have developed a method of machine learning to sniff out drunk tweets. Researchers from the University of Rochester collected 11,000 geotagged tweets over a year from two areas: New York and Monroe County, filtering the 140-character notes containing "drunk," "beer," "party" and other libation-related words. From there the school employed Amazon Mechanical Turks to decide whether the person sending the tweets was simply talking about booze or were actually drinking it while tweeting.

What's more, the team was able to develop a method for ascertaining if someone was drinking at home or from another location, with 80 percent accuracy. By matching alcohol-sales locations with the geotagged tweets the researchers discovered via algorithm that while more people in New York tweet about booze than in Monroe County, a higher number of residents of the former are drinking within 100 meters of their homes, if not in their homes outright. What's more, Monroe County residents drink more around a kilometer-plus distance from where they rest their heads.

MIT Technology Review notes that this methodology isn't a perfect predictor whatsoever, especially since Twitter skews younger and that "certain minorities" are overrepresented. But it is a whole lot less costly and faster than other research methods.The ultimate goal? Studying the ways that drinking changes based on age, sex and ethnicity in addition to hopefully heading off the tragic number of alcohol-related deaths.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Texas Instruments makes it harder to run programs on its calculators

Texas Instruments makes it harder to run programs on its calculators

View
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leaks hint at giant screens and S20 Ultra features

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leaks hint at giant screens and S20 Ultra features

View
Space Station receives the last of NASA's science racks after 19 years

Space Station receives the last of NASA's science racks after 19 years

View
Astronomers spot a strange, first-of-its-kind asteroid near Jupiter

Astronomers spot a strange, first-of-its-kind asteroid near Jupiter

View
Hacked NES Power Glove controls a modular synth with finger wriggles

Hacked NES Power Glove controls a modular synth with finger wriggles

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr